If you are on a path that follows a certain methodological approach then you are on a path to discoveries and knowledge!
- Select the right topic – Check
- Do a perfect literature review – Check
- Bribe my brother to help me with my research – check
- Select a methodology – WAIT, WHAT??
The following few lines are picturing the situation of a student who is about to start his or her dissertation, and the student came in hot water over selecting a methodology and looks like he is all set to take dissertation help online UK formatted.
But! Don’t sweat it as you will be guided with everything on how to write a good research methodology chapter.
What is a research methodology?
A research methodology is the road map for your data gathering activities. It is a known fact that great research can only be conducted by getting quality data, and to acquaint you with quality and relevant data, one must have a research methodology. Research methodology is that chapter in your research where you inform the reader about your whereabouts while gathering data, and what were your approaches to come up with a certain hypothesis.
By giving such valuable information, you add a factor of authenticity to your research.
This chapter of your research should cover;
- Your approach to gathering the data.
- The criteria you have set for your data.
- How did you analyze the data?
- The research tools if you have used any.
- The population of your research.
A tenacious guide for writing a research methodology
After knowing such brief importance of research methodology, you must be invested with eagerness to learn how to write a methodology.
Well, all you have to do is to follow this guide doggedly, and your confusion regarding research methodology will fade away.
1. Enlighten the reader about your methodological approach:
This has to be your first and utmost concern to acknowledge the reader about your research methodology. Every researcher selects a method or approach by which he or she further study a particular topic. There are three main types of methodological approach, each used for various purposes;
Qualitative approach: If you wish to get the primary data, the qualitative approach would be the best option for you. In the qualitative approach, you are expected to study the words to narrate, interpret and gain new knowledge on your topic.
Quantitative approach: This approach involves the extraction of both primary and secondary data. In a quantitative approach, you focus on the numbers to study, identify and analyze your topic. It is likely to occur that the conclusion based on a quantitative approach is actually what the majority of people believe in your research theory.
Mixed approach: This is rather a unique approach where a researcher tends to mix the quantity and quality of research to come up with certain conclusions.
The selection from discussed approaches is entirely up to the nature of your topic.
- If the topic you have selected requires you to study the cause and consequences of a certain issue then a qualitative approach would be the best option.
- If the topic you have selected, requires you to study common behavior of the people regarding a certain issue or what numbers indicate about your theories or when you want to know the likelihood of an event, then a quantitative approach would be the best option.
After making your decision on which approach to choose you need to explain to your reader about your methodologies. And for that you would be highly expected to address the following questions;
- What are the aims of your research?
- What is the main agenda to write my dissertation/research?
- What issues does it solve?
- What criteria you are willing to set for your data and why?
- What do you think is the best approach for carrying your research?
2. The methods by which you collected and selected your data:
After giving a brief introduction on your methodology to conduct research, you will now give information about the methods you used to extract the data. Give a layout to all the tools, techniques, or strategies you used to gather your data. Each methodological approach demands different data gathering methods. There are a variety of methods in each approach. Learning about them closely will help you, informing the reader about it.
Methods for qualitative approach:
If you are opting for a qualitative approach then you must use the following methods in data gathering;
Interviews and focus groups: These are one of the main sources to get first-hand knowledge. Inform your reader about your interviews and your population to your reader like;
- Who was your population?
- How did you ask the questions to your population?
- What criteria did you set while selecting your population?
- How did you conduct the interviews, were the interviews structured or unstructured, or semi-structured?
Observation: Observing the situation about your topic allows gives you an edge to critically analyze your results. Performing various observations is a pure method to get the primary data and if you have performed an observation then make sure to address all these questions;
- When where and how you have performed an observation?
- How did you record your observation?
- What group of people were under your observation?
Open-ended surveys: Surveys are usually conducted to get the quantified data, but if you design an open-ended survey then it gives you the taste of qualified data. An open-ended survey allows your population to give their own opinion on your research theory. So, if you have made an open-ended survey, you must address all these questions;
- What are the questions?
- And how did you formulate those questions?
- What literature did you read that lead you to ask certain questions?
Methods for qualitative approach:
If you are opting for a quantitative approach then you must use the following methods in data gathering;
Surveys: Surveys are made to get the quantified data as you are forming the results based on how many people agreed or disagreed with your point. If you have made qualitative surveys, then you should give your reader the following information;
- How did you design your survey
- What was your mode for conducting these surveys? (Online, offline, through the mail, or in-person)
- How many people were required to be a part of your survey and how many did?
- Were there any criteria settled for your research sample?
Questionnaires: These are the research documents, which have a series of questions that you are intended to your research population. If you have made a questionnaire then you must inform a reader about the following concerns;
- How did you formulate those questions?
- How did you design the questionnaire (For example; if the survey was MCQ’s based or it has a rating scale in the options or if you require answers in Dichotomous style)
- How many people were required to be a part of your questionnaire and how many did?
- Was your questionnaire made under any expectations?
Existing data: When you critically read the existing data related to your topic to find the research gap. If you have studied and analyzed the existing data, then you must address the following concerns;
- What type of context did you read that helped you formed your research hypothesis?
- How did you set certain criteria for the existing data?
3. Acknowledge your method analysis:
Now that you have given all the important details on your research methodology, is time to inform your reader about how you are going to analyze your methodologies. You don’t need to give many details about your research in this step. Do not discuss the results you have got while conducting research.
Quantitative research analysis: In quantitative research analysis, you will inform your reader on how you analyzed the numerical data or if you have taken any help from the software to analyze the numbers.
Qualitative research analysis: If you have done the qualitative research analysis then you must include the behavioral pattern you noticed in your observation, and how did you transcribe the interviews and surveys.
4. Justify your choices of methodologies:
This step could be the most intriguing element of writing a methodology. After all that you have done, it is time to justify why did you do it. What are the reasons behind your actions in your methodological research? Once you have got all of it. Since you have not followed all the methods in your research, so you should inform the reader about which methods you chose and why did you choose them.
Even, when you know there would be a lacking in your research, if you have picked a different method, then do mention it as well. By giving such information you will be doing a favor to future researchers.
Bonus tips to write research methodology!
Other than the mentioned steps, there are a few more tips and techniques that will be of your utmost help when you are learning how to write a methodology for a project.
Ø Give due credits: If there is a point in your research where you have taken help from the other researchers then you would be obliged to give cite the relevant sources.
Ø Stick to your point! There is no need to discuss more than your research methodologies. Even, refrain from discussing the final results as well.
Ø While discussing your methodologies, you should share about your struggled while giving the best approach. Acknowledging the weakness and strengths in your topic could help the people who are willing to further study your research.
FAQ’S related to research methodology:
What is the research population?
A collection of people from whom you wish to carry out your research. A research population can also be known as a well-defined group of individuals having the same characteristics.
What is a research sample?
The sample is a part of the population that has been divided further to study. The sample is always drawn from a research population.
What is the difference between qualitative and quantitative research?
Qualitative research studies and analyzes the words or their meaning or behaviors when conducting research. While Quantitative research studies and analyze the numbers or statistics.
Where does the methodology section go?
In research, the chapter of a research methodology comes after the introduction chapter and before the discussion, conclusion, or results of your research.
How can I know which methodology is best for me?
So you may learn about how to write a dissertation methodology but how to know which methodology is best for your research. Well, the answer to this question more relies on the aims and objectives of your research. Before, you decide on your methodology, study your researches aims and objectives. It will give you so many reasons to choose the best option for you.
To put it precisely, the following tips will help you whether you are learning how to write a methodology for secondary research or primary research. All the best of luck!